China requests removal of Taiwan flag in London

Featured - July 27th, 2012

China requested Olympic organizers in London to remove Taiwan’s flag in another show of underlying tensions between countries beyond the sports arena.

At the behest of the Chinese embassy, Taiwan’s national flag was taken down from its place above Regent Street, one of London’s busiest shopping roads. The flag of Taiwan’s Olympic committee, used since the 1980s following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruling that the island could not compete under the name ‘the Republic of China’, was put up among the rows of national flags. According to a LOCOG spokesman, the Games’ organizer, “the Chinese embassy informed us that the incorrect flag was on display, and we passed this information on to the Regent Street Association.

Taiwan representative in Britain, Shen Lyushun, told AFP that the IOC ruling only applies to Olympic venues. “This agreement doesn’t prevent us from using our national flag outside Games venues –  and this flag is in a business area, not a venue.

Another flag incident delayed a women’s soccer match after a South Korean flag was shown to introduce the North Korean team. The team refused to take the field for over an hour over the blunder.